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Stratoblaster tremolo recommendations? 
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Simethicone
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Post Stratoblaster tremolo recommendations?
What, if anything, would y'all honkies suggest as an upgrade from a Fender American Standard tremolo, late '90s. Standard two-point deal. The current production Fender Deluxe trem would be a waste of time- outside of a pop-in arm and some different saddles (I've had Graphtechs on there for over ten years at this point anyhow) they're no different. I'm not gonna replace the whole thing to gain a marginally better trem arm. :lol:

Now, the old Fender Deluxe Locking Tremolo, aka Fender Floyd Rose II, aka mini-Floyd, was appealing- but they were discontinued in '08 and are unobtanium, as far as I can tell. Used an LSR roller nut + locking tuners rather than a locking nut. Did I mention I hate locking nuts with the heat of a thousand fiery suns? :red: So full Floyds are out anyhow, plus I don't want to route my belov├ęd.

So I'm thinking Wilkinson? I already have the same Fender-branded Schaller locking tuners the Deluxes are equipped with on there, if that's anything. Stock nut.

Thoughts? I'm just looking for more stability- and more David Gilmour than Kerry King, whammy-wise.

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Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:45 pm
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Magnitogorsk
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Post Re: Stratoblaster tremolo recommendations?
I probably wouldn't go Floyd anyhow, without a locking nut. In my opinion, locking at both ends is what allows that design to work.

I found the Wilkinson okay, but personally did not find it hugely different than a properly set up standard strat trem. Personally i found them both to have the same issues. They work well when new, but over time become a little less eager to return strings correctly to something resembling "in tune". This is, IMO, a combination of springs loosening up and of saddles and bearing edges starting to get banged up/bent/grooved.

The Wilkinson also just felt a bit more fragile to me. A proper strat bridge has some mass and steel to it. I wasn't much a fan of the wilkinson set screws and saddles arrangement. Reminded me of cheaper Floyds, tiny little screws and kind of lightweight mystery meats metals that i didn't trust.

If your current trem is getting heavily worn, maybe consider freshening it up with new saddles and springs and a proper setup? Or if it is showing wear at the bearing edges and/or posts, just dropping a whole new one in. Watch out for soft metal inexpensive options though, they will be much worse after a couple months of proper use.

But yeah, if you don't want to rout or lock the nut, then graphite/roller parts and the normal Fender two point is the way to go, IMO. :idk:

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Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:02 am
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Walrus meat
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Post Re: Stratoblaster tremolo recommendations?
This is very relephant to my interests, I have been thinking about doing the same for this Fender pawn shop series geetar I bought up in Alaska. Guitar is rad, but I think it could benefit from a nicer trem.

Do you think the American 2-point is much more stable than the cheaper 6-point?

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Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:10 pm
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Magnitogorsk
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Post Re: Stratoblaster tremolo recommendations?
Broseidon wrote:
Do you think the American 2-point is much more stable than the cheaper 6-point?


Just in my personal opinion, i think that it is. As i see it, fewer points of contact between moving pieces removes as many potential areas of friction as possible, allowing the bridge to return more freely to its resting position. Also the blade+post style further reduces the friction points from the screw type, just by their shape.

You still have the same problems that any guitar that doesn't have locks at the bridge and nut will have, which mainly all hang around: loosening the tension of the strings at the bridge and/or nut means that the strings themselves may resist/cause friction, and return imperfectly to the correct pitches.

If set up correctly and used subtly, you can minimize the bad side of this effect by working around it(i had a two point floyd II style bridge on my first electric guitar that would come back nicely if i remembered to just lightly pull the bar tight after using it, otherwise a couple strings wouldn't come all the way back in tune), but in general, the issue will persist as long as one or both string ends remain open/unlocked.

For accuracy, you can go double locking floyd or something kooky like a transtrem but both are big bucks and very route-heavy installs.

For accuracy with a non-locking system, just setting the two-point fender style up correctly is about as good as you can get(slippery or roller nut and saddles will always help). More than half of the accuracy of the system becomes your personal playing responsibility though. It can be done, but you have to learn it.

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Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:31 pm
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Walrus meat
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Post Re: Stratoblaster tremolo recommendations?
Noted. :huzzah: I will have to look into a replacement.

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Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:54 pm
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Simethicone
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Post Re: Stratoblaster tremolo recommendations?
chris_d wrote:
Just in my personal opinion, i think that it is. As i see it, fewer points of contact between moving pieces removes as many potential areas of friction as possible, allowing the bridge to return more freely to its resting position. Also the blade+post style further reduces the friction points from the screw type, just by their shape.


I would agree, as do my IRL guitarnerd friends. It's inherently more stable by design for the above stated reasons: less points of contact = less to go off.

That being said, Chris, you'd say a single locking design a la the old Fender Deluxe/Floyd II trems or similar don't really offer an advantage over a system with a locking nut?

Now, one of my friends has the old Wilkinson VS100 CV on his Strat that locks the thing in place when the trem isn't being used; says it's a pain tuning-wise and more trouble than it's worth. (Nice trem otherwise.) That's out of production, though.

So, would what's essentially a current Fender Deluxe setup: standard Fender 2-point with better saddles (done), locking tuners (done) + roller nut (not done- nut probably needs changing anyhow) be the ideal solution, then?

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Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:57 pm
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Magnitogorsk
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Post Re: Stratoblaster tremolo recommendations?
RE: The Wilkinson CV, i always thought that would be an ideal solution, but they don't make them really anymore, and the word on the street is definitely that getting the thing to lock/unlock correctly in tune was more of a pain than was useful. I might use it more like: lock and tune as a set bridge. Or unlock and tune/use as a strat style, i.e. not expecting to go between the two settings without retuning. This would make it roughly the same sort of useful, theoretically, as the Jazzmaster bridge locking pin thing, which provides similar challenges to go between settings.

As for single lockers, i personally found that having either end open basically sucked for strings sticking(even with graphite). I felt that having one end lock was better than none, but i don't know how much i would say that "better" amounts to, maybe 10%? For the expense of a new bridge and potential fuss of installing a new system(do the posts match or need to be drilled/relocated, etc), i personally wouldn't do it. Maybe part of that is me being a very specific type of lazy. I would personally prefer to just keep the standard strat bridge in proper working order and then to just play around it. Or, alternately go full-on double locking Floyd guitar.

All of this said, because of the way i am with bridges that wobble, my own favorite trem bridge by far has been the greatly improved almostBigsby-style one that Mosrite designed. Followed by the utterly sketchy Jazzmaster and Mustang ones. I am not too concerned with accuracy though. :red: Actually, the Mosrite bridge was weirdly stable and nice(perfect for relatively minor wobblings, and with the roller bridge and all, it returned to pitch surprisingly well). Those are all very differently shaped holes/installs though, not really suitable to a strat, physically or vibe-wise. For a Strat, i think Fender got it right the second time(and that the first time was pretty close anyhow). :idk:

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Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:13 pm
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Magnitogorsk
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Post Re: Stratoblaster tremolo recommendations?
Snaxocaster wrote:
So, would what's essentially a current Fender Deluxe setup: standard Fender 2-point with better saddles (done), locking tuners (done) + roller nut (not done- nut probably needs changing anyhow) be the ideal solution, then?


In my own limited humble opinion, i think so. There is only so much a person can expect this style guitar/bridge to do, IMO. Mainly one should keep an eye on the bearing edges and springs, because when the springs start to loosen up, and especially when the bearing edges start to malform or even just start to chip their plating, that is where you are bringing in avoidable problems in the way of the thing working right. Roller/slippy nut/saddles is about as much as you can do on that front. Again though, it is worth checking them both frequently to make sure that strings aren't starting to leave their impressions or grooves on either, because that is where those things will stop doing what they are meant to. :idk:

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Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:24 pm
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